By James Blears
José Carlos Ramírez, the WBC and WBO Super Lightweight Champion, will face WBA and IBF Super Lightweight Champion Josh Taylor on May 22 at The Theater, Virgin Hotels, Las Vegas.
All boxing matches are a tough test of determination and strength, especially at this level, but the fearless and determined characters that define, shape and temper each of these men will be an especially important factor in the night, determining who will come out. victorious. .
Nothing has been easy for José. Born in Avenal, California, the son of migrant farm workers from Michoacán, Mexico, he worked hard in the scorching, sweltering heat of the fields as a young man, participated in fruit picking and boxing to make money, never forgetting his heritage and his co-workers. He is proud to be a part of the California Water Coalition. He works on various projects to help his community.
A vast ocean and a colder continent half a world away, Josh Taylor was born in Edinburgh, known as Granite City, and now lives in Prestonpans, outside of Scotland’s capital.
FORE is a Scottish golf term used to warn anyone, standing or moving, in the flight of a golf ball. When he was ten years old, Josh didn’t get a chance to take a hard hit off himself. He suffered an injury, this time his cousin Sarah accidentally hit him on the left side of the face. A little higher and he would have been hit in the temple and died right there.
Despite being hit with tremendous force, Josh did not fall or lose consciousness, which was remarkable. Josh’s jaw was smashed in five places. He underwent major reconstructive surgery, requiring thirty stitches on the outside of the cheek and sixty stitches on the inside.
For the next three months, he ate a straw chicken soup diet. A small crescent-shaped scar, which he will carry for the rest of his life, is the reminder of that terrible blow he conquered. Needless to say, you can take a punch in addition to hitting one.
Each one has completed a rigorous apprenticeship in order to become a master craftsman of the noble art of boxing.
José won the United States National Amateur Boxing Championship, was a National Youth Champion, a two-time National Youth Olympic Champion, and represented his country at the 2012 Olympics.
A thirteen-year-old taekwondo black belt, Josh became a junior British champion at the same age. Bringing his talents to boxing, he won silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and fared better at the 2014 Commonwealth Games by winning gold. Represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics.
28-year-old Jose, nicknamed Jaguar, is two years younger than Josh, but has more experience as a professional. He started in the professional ranks in 2012, and his record is 26-0, with 17 KO`s. Whereas Josh, known as the Tartan Tornado, turned pro in 2015 and has been through big fights too. His record is 17-0, including 13 KO`s.
In a war with Amir Ahmed Imam on March 17, 2018, José won the vacant WBC super lightweight title. On July 27, 2019, he defeated Maurice Hooker in the sixth round to claim the WBO title. A massive left hook to the jaw staggered the lanky Hooker, who got caught in the ropes and Jose followed with a barrage of lightning, with the referee quickly intervening to finish it all off.
Josh showed his potential and his promise to knock out previously undefeated Mexican Miguel Vazquez on October 11, 2017 and then sportily invited him for a pint of bitters.
Won the IBF title on May 18, 2019 against Ivan Baranchyk knocking him down twice in the sixth en route to a UD. He then won the WBA title against Regis Prograis with a doctor on October 26, 2019. That night, the Muhammad Ali Trophy was also up for grabs in what was the final of the Boxing Super Series. Josh triumphed on that legendary night. On September 26 last year, he knocked out IBF mandatory challenger Apinum Khongsong of Thailand with a massive left hook to the body in the first round.
One yardstick that measures both Ramirez and Taylor are their fights with the former champion that no one ever stopped: Ukraine’s Viktor Postol. Josh fought and defeated him by UD, successfully defending his WBC silver title in just the thirteenth fight of his career, on June 23, 2018.
It was a necessary learning curve for Josh, who dominated the cautious veteran early on, but then ran into a significant patch of trouble in the seventh and eighth, when Victor caught him, landing punches repeatedly. Josh came back with the perfect response beating Viktor in the 10th, regaining control for the rest of the fight, which was emotionally wonderful.
José Carlos won by MD against Viktor on August 29 of last year. It had been over a year since his spectacular win against Maurice Hooker and he looked a bit rusty. There were two postponements before it was finalized. He took the initiative from the beginning, but then he seemed to lose the plot, lumbered forward, and Postol fought his way back. Viktor was nearly brought down by a huge left hook in the seventh. He was more elusive in this match than when he fought Josh. In that match he was more than happy to stand up and exchange.
José used to be trained by Freddie Roach, who also trains Viktor Postol. He is now trained at Riverside by Robert Garcia. Josh used to be trained by Shane McGuigan. He is now trained by Ben Davison, who lives in Essex, near London.
Josh, who is five feet ten inches tall and has a reach of sixty-nine and a half inches, is an explosive southpaw who hits very fast. His left hook is his main weapon and he is a fierce body puncher. Jose, who is also 5-foot-10, has a 72-inch reach and fights from a conventional stance. His body shot is also very effective and his left hook carries dynamite. He is patient and persistent.
José is Avenal’s boxing hero. Josh is the first champion since the great Ken Buchannan to also wear tartan briefs over a mandatory foul-proof protector. Ken is an inspiration, a friend, and an avid Josh fan. Another famous garment that highlanders wear is the kilt. There is nothing under the kilt, but tucked between its folds is a dagger!
The winner of their titanic fight will be the second unified super lightweight champion in this era. The first was Terence “Bud” Crawford. Jose and Josh are undefeated going into this fabulous fight, so someone must lose it!
Josh has only fought once before in Las Vegas, while Jose has already fought there seven times, although once this starts, only the two of them will be in the ring, plus the third man. California is closer to Sin City than Scotland, so a lot of Mexican / American support is expected. But will you certainly be able to hear Scotland the Brave and possibly the bagpipes sing?
The prize will be the supremacy of this division. Nothing more and nothing less! The action and the pace are relentless. The skill level comes from the two great champions. It’s going to be a wonderful fight and it might as well go to the end. They both have firepower and belly fury, which is good because the body shots will certainly be a crucial factor.
Josh is so confident and says he will win without a doubt. You would do well to remember that Jose is tough as a nail.